Saturday, January 26, 2013

NYC Chinatown Herb Shops



 
During our free time in Chinatown, we poked our heads in a number of herb shops.   Fun to see and smell but also overwhelming at times since we can't read Chinese.  The one above is the shop of an Acupuncturist.  Very pretty place the drawers on the left all contain loose herbs which they will measure out for you.  The boxes on the right are patent medicines herbal, mineral, animal and I  am not sure what else really.

 
This sleek shop above sold fragrant herbal soaps, shampoos, and eye shadows, nail products - all beauty oriented.
  We stopped at another herb shop full of shelves stocked with herbs in glass jars (reminiscent of The Rosemary House) where we found these Indian long pepper corns (Piper longum).  They taste a bit hotter then their cousin black pepper (Piper nigrum) and you can use them in your pepper grinder.  She also had smoked peppercorns which had a wood fire smoke fragrance to them. 
One of my goals was to restock my supply of Moxa Sticks.  Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese style of  healing by warming the acupuncture points or by warming areas in your body where you may be stiff or sore.  You light the end of the stick and smudge over your victim patient until there is a large red area and the patient says it is getting very warm.  The moxa stick which is made of the herb mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) works by stimulating circulation of the blood flow and the qi. Many mid wives will use a moxa stick to help to turn a baby who is not positioned head down in the last weeks of the pregnancy. 

3 comments:

Marilyn said...

That top herb shop does look like one I would just like to visit. I haven't used moxa sticks in a long time, but I must say they make me a bit nervous since a spark fell on me while using one. They do however help aches and pain. I should use one about now, that massage yesterday left me with a few aches.

Rosemary said...

Angela McRae commented:
Oh, now that is *fascinating* to me! I once considered becoming a lay midwife, and I have had the unique privilege of being on hand for 10 live births -- 7 of them at-home deliveries with midwives. (OK, maybe that's TMI for sharing on a tea blog post, eh!)

La Tea Dah said...

I would love to visit a shop like this!